Former Fujicolor employee pleads guilty to environmental
Gerald Lakota, a former employee of Fujicolor Processing,
pleaded guilty to willfully concealing and covering up
a material fact in reports required to be filed under
the Clean Water Act, the Justice Department announced.
According to a plea agreement, while employed at Fujicolor’s
film developing facility in Terrell, Texas, Lakota was
responsible for environmental compliance at the plant,
which included preparing and submitting the plant’s wastewater
Discharge Monitoring Reports.
In order to ensure compliance with the plant’s monthly
Discharge Monitoring Reports, Lakota selectively screened
or “cherry-picked” samples of the facility’s wastewater
effluent. Samples that were out of compliance with the
facility’s pre-treatment permit for silver were not reported
on the Discharge Monitoring Reports as required by the
facility’s permit. The film finishing process at the
facility generated a significant amount of process wastewater
that contained silver.
Using this sampling process, Lakota falsely presented
the analysis of the final “good” samples as representative
of the facility’s discharge, when he knew this was not
true, and created the false impression that the facility
was meeting its effluent limits required by the discharge
Lakota was charged in the Northern District of Texas
and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee. He faces up to five years in prison,
a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release.